Thu, Mar 14, 2019 - Page 4 News List

Abandoned package tests positive for swine fever

Staff writer, with CNA

A package of cured pig ears produced in China has tested positive for African swine fever, bringing the total number of cases to 31, the Central Emergency Operation Center for African swine fever said on Tuesday.

The package, which originated in the city of Chengdu in the southwestern province of Sichuan, was tested for swine fever on March 1 after it was found discarded in a bin at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport), the center said.

The Council of Agriculture’s Animal Health Research Institute tested samples and found that they contained gene fragments that were identical to those of the virus found in China, the center said.

Since October last year, 31 pork products from China have been confirmed to be infected with African swine fever: one in October, two in November, four in December, 11 in January, 11 in February and two this month, statistics on the center’s Web site showed.

As of Friday last week, 112 outbreaks had been reported in 28 Chinese provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities, with more than 950,000 pigs having been culled, data published on the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s Web site showed.

China confirmed its first African swine fever outbreak on Aug. 3 last year, the Web site said.

Taiwan is on high alert, as it is concerned that the virus could hit its pig farming industry, which is worth NT$80 billion (US$2.59 billion) per year.

The virus does not affect humans, but is deadly to pigs and there is no known cure or vaccine.

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